To evaluate the influence of preoperative serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level and other clinicopathological variables on the probability of biochemical failure and clinical recurrence after radical prostatectomy (RP) for localized prostate cancer.
The study was a retrospective survival analysis in 211 patients undergoing retropubic RP for clinically localized prostate cancer in the period 1988-2000. Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method; survival endpoints were biochemical failure, defined as a PSA level of > or = 0.5 ng/mL or clinical recurrence consisting of palpable tumours in the prostatic fossa or distant metastases. In 58 patients with biochemical failure after surgery, we assessed the impact of the doubling time of serum PSA level (PSADT) on the risk of developing skeletal metastases or local recurrence.
The median (range) observation period was 66 (9-160) months. Biochemical failure occurred in 92 patients (44%) of whom 39 (42%) had local recurrence or skeletal metastases. There was a highly significant association (P < 0.001) between clinical T stage, histological grade, capsular penetration, surgical margin status, seminal vesicle invasion, preoperative serum PSA level and the probability of biochemical failure-free survival. By contrast there was no statistically significant association between preoperative serum PSA level, clinical T stage, surgical margin status, and clinical recurrence. There was a significant relationship between age (P = 0.021), histological grade (P = 0.025), capsular penetration (P = 0.018), seminal vesicle invasion (P = 0014), and clinical recurrence. Cox regression analysis showed that only histological grade and seminal vesicle invasion were independent predictors of clinical recurrence. In a subgroup of 58 patients with a rising serum PSA level after RP, a PSADT of < or = 12.8 months conferred a significantly higher risk (P = 0.015) of developing skeletal metastases than a PSADT of >12.8 months.
In the present patients undergoing RP the preoperative serum PSA level was not associated with the clinical outcome, whereas it was significantly related to biochemical failure rate. The probability of skeletal metastases was significantly associated with the PSADT after biochemical failure.